OK, so I need to establish two things right off the bat: 1. this is a Killed by Death
-style compilation of songs taken from 7"s released in the 1990s (no, that second 9 is not a typo... the nineteen nineties
); 2. this record KICKS ASS
. Now that I have established those two things, maybe I can wax philosophical for a bit and try to get at why this record is peeling my brain like an onion at the moment. This LP is so obviously and consistently killer that it seems like it could very well represent a total paradigm shift in the punk record collecting world (or maybe such a shift has already happened and I'm too stupid / unaware / whatever to notice?). It seems like every record store that I go to (mine included) has a dollar bin stocked full of these crappy-looking self-released records from 1990s punk bands. This LP proves that some of those are actually good
. No, you don't have to get a job in high finance and put all of your money toward your bonzer collection, you can get out in the bins, dig, and find some gems. Out of curiosity, I did a quick discogs look-up of the 7" that my favorite track from this LP comes from (not telling you which one so you don't scoop it before me!), and the median price is six bucks. Six American dollars!!!
So, there's that little revelation, which is the record collector equivalent of a grizzled old prospector saying "there's gold in them thar hills," but the other thing that is blowing my mind is that I actually remember some of these bands
. Now, I'm 35 years old, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the only two bands on this thing that anyone younger than me might have heard of would be the Epileptix (because they feature a pre-everything Timmy Vulgar) and the Mormons (because people like DX from Distort
have so obsessively documented every nook and cranny of the Cleveland scene). However, I totally remember a bunch of these records... seeing them on distro lists, flipping past them in bins, etc. It makes me completely recontextualize how I think about all of those Killed by Death
bands. The myth is that those bands were all basement mutants who, against all financial reason, pressed up a couple hundred 7"s and managed to sell, at best, a few dozen locally, but this makes me think that maybe all of those Killed by Death
bands were just regular bands
who happened to have at least one really, really good song. Just like these bands here! These records aren't collector holy grails (at least not yet), they aren't hyper-rarities for which only a half dozen known copies exist, they're just a bunch of records that someone with a lot of time on their hands and a really discerning ear pulled together out of the vast swaths of crap that exist in pretty much every used record bin ever. MIND BLOWN!
Needless to say, this gets my highest possible recommendation. Oh, and I should also mention that it includes a spot-on iteration of those snarky and teasingly un-informative Killed by Death
-style liner notes.